1830 - 1840: The creation of interiors after a design of Alexander Bryulov
The architect Alexander Bryulov is notable for his excellent interiors in the Historicist style which dominated architectural fashion in the 19th century. His Malachite Room, built to connect the suite of state rooms along the Neva with the private rooms of Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna, wife of Emperor Nicholas I, is a true masterpiece. Malachite columns, pilasters and mantelpieces are effectively combined with gilt doors and an intricate ceiling ornament.
The Arab Hall was created under the influence of Ancient architecture, taking its name from the Ethiopian servants who customarily stood guard during receptions. Impressed by the ruins of the ancient city of Pompeii, destroyed by an eruption of the volcano Vesuvius, the artist designed the Small (Pompeii) Dining-Room (although its decoration was later altered). In honour of the forthcoming wedding of Grand Prince Alexander Nikolayevich (later Emperor Alexander II) to Maria Alexandrovna, Princess of Hessen-Darmstadt, he designed the interior decoration for the bride's private rooms. One of these was the White Room, elegantly decorated in white and thus in sharp contrast with the other private rooms, hung with bright silk upholstery and ornamented with gilt. The Alexander Hall, commemorating Russia's victory over Napoleon, is truly considered the finest room of all the apartments designed by Bryullov.
The Malachite Room